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Pakistan Has Tested Fewer Than 500 For Novel Coronavirus Since First Case On February 26

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Even though Pakistan’s first COVID-19 case emerged on the 26th of February, less than 500 individuals have been tested for the disease. This is due to the specific testing criteria adopted by Pakistani authorities, which have so far been testing individuals exhibiting influenza symptoms for COVID-19 only if they have a travel history to countries with known mass outbreaks.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza has upheld the health authorities’ current policy by saying that it was necessary to discourage people from asking for COVID-19 testing when they had common cold symptoms.

By contrast, a number of countries affected by the pandemic have adopted far more widespread tests. South Korea’s response to the health crisis caused by the novel Coronavirus has been cited as particularly instructive by many experts: the country is conducting around 15,000 tests per day.

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